Creating goals is a wonderful habit for leaders. But are you keeping track and checking in on those goals? How often? Akua shares the simple 3 step process for checking in on your goals. Doing this regularly will help you hit the next level of success in your business.
Without goals, you won’t have a compass to navigate your personal and professional life. Reflecting on your goals is a huge part of using this compass correctly. In this episode, Akua explains the 20-minute check-in she does with her goals.
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What's Covered in this Episode About Goal Tracking
- How often you should reflect on your goals
- Setting micro-goals and big goals
- Understanding where you need to shift or pivot
- Using your calendar in sync with your goals
- The 3 step check-in approach:
Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations
Mentioned in Check in With Your Goals Now
Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast
Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.
Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive.
Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit. Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.
Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:
Here’s the transcript for episode 20 about Checking in With Your Goals
NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah Chaos respond to Aqua. And yeah, I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time, and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this episode of the open door conversations podcast. And because we're getting closer to the end of the year, I thought that this would be the perfect episode to drop. And so what we're going to be talking about today is how to check in with your goals using three simple steps. Yes, three simple steps. And there also is a blog post that goes along with this episode. So I will make sure that I tag that or add that to the show notes. But a lot of the work that I do I find is around simplifying concepts that have gotten way too big, or people sort of are throwing technology out it or feel like they don't have the time and space to actually do it. And so what I'm going to try to do today is really break down why creating the time and space, which can be as simple as putting a reminder on your phone or on your calendar can really help you to succeed. Because at the end of the day, we all have goals, whether their business goals, health goals, fitness goals, or something else entirely. We all have things we want to achieve. We all have ways in which we see ourselves showing up, we all want to be successful in the ways that resonate with us. And so having goals and if that word goal doesn't resonate with you, maybe its intentions. Or maybe it's an aim, you can call it a KPI, whatever works for you. So first and foremost, having that goals. Incredibly important. Always recommend, right and for me sometimes, right. And if you've had an opportunity to engage with me in any of the work that I do, or attend any of my workshops, I talk about setting super small micro goals. I do that every single day, right. So the other day, my micro goal was simply to sleep early. Okay, that's all I wanted to do, I wanted to be able to get my work done, feel good about it and go to sleep early, so I could wake up the next day refreshed. That's a super small goal. But that's really what I want it to do. So without goals, right, you won't have a compass really to navigate your personal and your professional life. So goals can be really helpful for that. But as I've mentioned before, I've seen many of my clients and many other leaders set goals, but they don't even know whether or not they have achieved those goals, because they're not continuing to check in to see how they're doing with those goals. Right. And it's something that we're pretty good at doing at work for the most part, sometimes not even enough, right? So sometimes at work, we will do it maybe once a year or twice a year, we'll check in that appraisal period, have you hit your targets? Have you not? I don't think that's enough. I think we need to be checking in our goals, whether it's within our business, within our professional life, or within our personal life a little bit more often. And when we do this, it makes it harder for us to lose sight of one, why we're doing it right, it's easier for us to get motivated. And even more importantly, it helps us cultivate the habits and build the routines that are actually working right, that will actually lead us down the path of achieving those results that we want to get. And here's the thing, I totally get it. It's so easy for us to just do doo doo and not take the time or space to reflect and really just lose track of the goals that we've set ourselves because we have so much going on in our life. And maybe we're overwhelmed or maybe we're firefighting right? So all those things can be happening. So what can you do practically? What is the easiest thing that you can do to make sure you're on track to accomplish your goals? Right? What is something that you can do honestly, even within five minutes to check in to see whether or not, you're getting closer or further away to your goals. So the ritual or routine, the practice, I would really encourage you to think a little bit more about. And some of you listening to this might be like, Haha, I've heard of it, or haha, I've done it. But honestly, it's something that's really transformed how I show up in my life and also in my business. And maybe actually, I will put a link to one of my sort of dashboards, where I'm using this super simple tool, because I think once again, that people like are trying to leverage technology in so many different ways. And I think technology is really important, and I love it. But this is something that I think really is so much better than trying to use a goal tracker tool or a goal Tracker app, it really has helped me specifically. And I think this is also an important point. So based on what I know about myself, and how I show up and sort of what works for me and resonates with me, this works so good. So if you're someone who's somewhat visual, you're like someone who likes a bit of structure, you're someone who is willing and open to creating the time and space. I think that this practice this ritual, this routine will help you. So today, I'm going to be sharing this super simple three step ritual I do regularly, I do it, it's in my calendar, I remind myself and I do sit down and do it. And it doesn't take me more than 20 or 30 minutes, okay, and this is what I do to check in with my goals, I think it's such a powerful way to really check in and to figure out where you need to shift where you might need to pivot and what you might need to be doing. So just based on that, you can probably guess what approach I'm going to take right, it is the stop, start and continue approach. And as I mentioned before, it sounds so simple, but it really is powerful. And after I have done this, and I've been doing this all year round, I have so many things that I've been able to continue. And that continue piece is really those habits, those routines, those behaviours, I've been able to really integrate into my day to day and both my personal and my professional life. It's really what keeps me on top of the things that I'm doing. It's what really drove me honestly, to even get really excited about doing this podcast, and really think about what are the things are gonna get me closer to the goals that I've set for myself this year. Okay, so some of the activities I do for this ritual include sort of monthly reflections, right, to some extent, right. So really thinking about what's worked, what hasn't worked? I really think also about my motions, and like, What do I like, what don't I like, what types of activities I enjoy. And then most importantly, sort of the quarterly projects and goals I have, because I tend to look at things sort of on a quarterly basis, somewhat monthly basis, but mostly quarterly and week by week. And so that's really that first step. So Why else do I use this approach, right, I do this because checking in allows you to see how far you've come or where you need to shift gears, right. And I find it so motivating, also seeing my progress. So when I look at my start, stop, continue. And I have one for every single month this year. So far, it actually makes me incredibly proud of how far I've come, right. And I think that when we are doing something bigger than ourselves, and whether or not we're even working for ourselves, it's so easy to lose sight of how much work we're doing, right. And I do a lot of work with entrepreneurs and leaders around that self promotion piece. And so this is that internal self promotion piece that I think can be so important and help you feel really good about all the steps you're taking, even if they're small. So going through this particular routine will not only allow you to access, write what you're doing, but you also probably will surprise yourself with how much you've been able to achieve, accomplish and the progress that you're making towards something. So some of the things I asked myself, and I'll give you a specific example here. So for example, if I'm looking at hitting a certain amount of money in my business, so for example, maybe $5,000 This is how I can start to sort of question or coach myself through using or leveraging this start, stop and continue approach. Right. So asking myself, How do I need to show up right to hit that $5,000? How do I need to behave? What types of actions would I need to take? How do I need to feel? And what would I need to believe to achieve this? Right? So the first step really is if I want to achieve that 5k a month if I want to achieve making 5k I need to believe that I can do that. Okay, so let's let's go through sort of breaking down this process. And I like to start with the stop. Okay, I start with the stop, I realise that that's funny. But yes, I start with this stop. And so the first step is asking myself, what are some of the things that I need to stop doing to achieve the goals that I've set for myself or the KPIs that I've set for myself? And within this first step, you're looking at some of the behaviours that might actually be holding you back from achieving your goals. So For me, for example, when I am thinking about the things I need to stop, or the things that are showing up that might be making it harder for me to reach my goals, I tend to think around things that maybe I could offload to someone. So for example, getting support with my content is something that I've decided to offload. I've looked at times where I actually decided not to do video, because I get really wrapped up in trying to make the video look perfect and sort of perfectionism. So really recognising that you might have some behaviour that is making it difficult for you to show up in other parts of your business. Right. And so for me, creating content is a huge part of my business. And so one of the things I really needed to think about was how do I streamline my business, and terms of using and leveraging content, and are there other people that I can leverage in order to do this a little bit better. So some expense specific examples of things that I decided to stop doing towards the beginning of the year was, first and foremost, stop creating content daily. And so what I will do is, a lot of my content is actually batched months in advance, I do get some content help as well, I have some amazing people that support me with my content. And also I have sort of pages and pages or notebooks of notebooks, digital notebooks have lots of different ideas on content that I can share if I have a gap somewhere. So for example, today, I didn't have anything that was scheduled, but I knew where exactly to go to get some content. So I didn't have to really do anything, it was pretty much just a copy and paste. Another thing that I've stopped doing is messing with my website and constantly editing pages on my website, because I realised I get really sucked into that. And that wasn't getting me any closer to hitting any of my income goals. Last but not least, the thing I have on here in terms of activities I wanted to stop doing was stop engaging with people that potentially wouldn't lead to business. So this one might be slightly controversial. But if you've had a chance to engage with me, you probably know that I'm quite protective of my calendar. And I think that that is a good thing for both me and the person trying to get in touch. At this point, I have over 100 blog posts on my website, and a lot of people who reach out to me, their question can be answered by one of the blog posts I've already created. So I'm really trying to keep in mind this concept of the opportunity cost of sort of showing up in that way, or engaging with that individual. And recognising that there's other ways I can do things, I don't have to say yes to everything. And I don't have to firefight in order to be successful with leveraging content online. Okay, so there's a cost to everything in business. So you really want to make sure that you're spending time on the areas that matter most. And if you feel that in terms of the stop part for you, and what's coming up for you might include needing some additional support, I will make sure that I link to one of my favourite interviews with someone who's outsourced and delegated a lot of his work. And the business actually one of the businesses that he's actually started, I think does a really great job of supporting you with content specifically. So if you're looking for graphics are videos, and someone to support you in that way, you can also take a listen to that podcast episode and learn a little bit more about his business that supports other businesses with content. So they don't feel like that's an overwhelming part of what they do. And that was an unsolicited suggestion, I don't get paid to share that. The second step is the start process. And so that's where I start to think about what are some of the actions I need to start? So I already know what I want to stop, what do I need to start? And so this is where I start to evaluate my actions and answer the question, what are some of the things I need to start doing to try to achieve my goals. And sometimes I will say I get very ambitious here. But beyond that, what happens is that once I've started something, and I have a habit, a process or a system around it, I will then place it in the continuing process or that continuing bucket. Because those are habits, those are routines, those are systems that I've built that I want to reinforce, right that I want to make sure that I continue doing so I can have that momentum and keep moving forward. So, you know, I want to make sure that I clarify the start process a little bit more. And so for you, the key thing that you want to think about is what does that look like for you in your business. So for me, I use that example of creating content to spontaneously. And so to save more time, more energy, something I wanted to do was start to produce only one piece of content a week, then repurpose it for additional content to use for that same week. So that in my opinion was about working smarter, not harder. And I was lucky enough to find someone to actually support me with this. And now it's actually evolved a little bit more because now my primary piece of content is actually this podcast episodes or you're listening to this. So I will then take this podcast episode. Sometimes I do it by myself. Sometimes I outsource it. And then I get additional sort of pieces of content from it. Whether it's Twitter post blog post, audio grammes, there's so much that can come out of this one. piece of content. So here's some other examples of things that I thought about that I could potentially start I will say I am not currently doing them because I didn't feel like it actually really fit well with how I wanted to show up. But at one point, I thought, Oh, my primary piece of content, that thing I should start should be a YouTube channel. And then I thought, oh, that thing I should start should be like a clubhouse sort of community. I ended up doing IG live conversations. And those i The IG live conversations have now evolved into this podcast that you're actually listening to. And this is simply because I started checking in with myself, right, I started to check in every single month and ask myself, how did it feel to try and do the videos? How did it feel to try and do the clubhouse conversations? How did it feel to do the IG live conversations? And through talking with other people and getting support, I realised that I really love showing up on podcast episodes and thought that podcast episodes made the most sense for the type of people that I tend to support and serve. So the last step right, that last bucket is that continue bucket, right. So that stop, start continue. And I get really excited about this part. And I love sort of seeing it visually, because after doing this for over a year, now I have so many things that I've been able to continue that I no longer question it, it's just become part of my routine, right? It's just so easy for me to do, I don't question it, it comes like super easy for me. And so this is where we really get to celebrate the fact that we've built these cool systems and rituals around things and your personal and your professional life. So I find that, you know, celebrating I call them hashtag wins. You know, we can also take it from that point of view or perspective of the hashtag, I'm remarkable space. But it's so important that we take the time to do that, and really pat ourselves on the back, I'm patting myself on the back right now, I know you can't see me for the fact that we're able to do these things in a way where it allows us to show up and get closer to our goals. So for me, some of the things that I've been trying to do consistently in relation to that overall goal, right of trying to hit a certain amount of money every single month is following up with clients. And because I wanted to follow up with clients, I've been able to make the most of my CRM system that allows me to keep track of my contacts and my clients, right. So my overall goal is follow up with clients. But the thing that I really have input into the tool that really enables this is that CRM system, the next thing that I do, and I've always been kind of good at this, but I think recently, it's something that I've really been able to make the most of is putting tasks and responsibilities into my calendar. And this is such an important thing that I also love to teach, because we tend to have very long to do list I don't believe in to do list, I do write things down. But I then try and put it on my calendar, because to do lists don't actually give us an idea of how long something will take. And so in order to get closer to some of those income goals, it's really important that I am one, making sure I'm doing those specific tasks that will get me closer and that too, they're actually in my calendar, and I complete them. Okay, another thing that I definitely always have gotten excited about, and I've continued to do, but this is also in my continue phase is investing in other coaches and other service providers that can support me. And so that's something that I've done, it's something that I will continue to do in different ways. And you know, it can be also as simple as you know, leveraging a book, getting support, having, you know, business besties that you can have conversations with, there's so many ways in which this can show up. And I can continue to evolve this or this can show up differently, or look differently as I continue to grow. And as my business continues to grow. So being able to build these systems, these routines, these rituals is really, I think, key in order to reach your goals, both in your professional and your personal life. So I hope that this was incredibly practical, I really tried to break it down. And I hope that you're able to really use this as a guide to check in with your goals. Because I truly believe and once again, this is something that I do. By implementing this process, you'll be able to stop feeling like you're falling behind or slipping on your goals. Because as I mentioned earlier on, for so many of us that are high achieving, trying to get things done really moving quickly, failing fast, talking to all sorts of potential clients, really trying to figure out how to monetize. It's so easy for us to feel like we're not making progress, and sometimes very difficult for us when it comes time to reflecting to think about Wait, what actually worked, what did I do. And so creating once again, that time and space to go through this stop, start and continue. Check in will really allow you to show up moving forward and when you're thinking back on what did I do to get here it's going to be so much easier for you to communicate it to yourself and to those who are also trying to support you. So this you know routine is one of the best ways that I continue to build momentum in my business and helps me stay on track for the goals that I have. set for myself, right? This approach also allows me to have a personal life as well. So at the end of the day, having a process like this is going to allow you to be that high performing leader to be that, you know, high performing entrepreneur, to be able right to build out that product to make sure you're able to monetize it. So make sure you're able to get that traction. And so once again, you can do this for yourself, or you can also do it with your team as well, because I think that that stops start and continue process. That's a really great conversation to have with people who are supporting you as well. Alright, so this is where I think I'm going to end I think I've shared all I wanted to share about the stop, start and continue process. Please let me know which of these steps stand out for you? Is this something that you do, right, this is something you might do extinct actually already, but maybe it's time to write it down. Or maybe it's time to make sure it gets put into your calendar. Let me know what goals you're working on. You know, reach out to me either in my LinkedIn DMS or on Instagram, DMS and I will help you walk through this process for yourself. Alright, so as always, thank you so much for taking the time to join me. If you want to learn more about this process. Once again, check out the blog post that's linked in the show notes and feel free to reach out enjoy the rest of your day. Stay safe and sane. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.